Are organisations well-prepared for a generative AI-integrated workforce?

, Are organisations well-prepared for a generative AI-integrated workforce?


Generative AI is a frontier of machine learning coming into new focus over the last two years. New content generated through generative AI will eliminate routine tasks, such as customer service chat box, the repetitive workload of financial reports, and email drafting to improve work productivity and job satisfaction.

Incorporating generative AI into businesses and upskilling the workforce in AI are on the rise. Are organisations ready for this transformation?

RMIT, Deloitte, and the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam recently co-hosted an HR Forum themed “Generative AI and workforce transformation”. In the pre-event survey conducted by Deloitte Southeast Asia with the event registrants, where two thirds of the respondents worked in C-suite or Board levels, and middle-management level in Vietnam, less than half of the organisations responded with partial preparedness to integrate generative AI.

The survey also found that one in three HR professionals are familiar with AI, and only 21% of HR professionals have initiatives to integrate generative AI into their businesses. That is well below 50% of the non-HR counterparts who consider exploring or implementing generative AI technologies.

The discussions during the forum revealed that workforce competencies in generative AI varies across industries and firms. Industries that were reported to have higher AI integration levels are electrical engineering, logistics, and recruitment. Relatively less AI integration was reported for the construction and service industries such as accounting, legal, education, renewable energies, and insurance.

Mr Mark Teoh, Executive Director at Deloitte Consulting, commented that humans with AI will replace humans without AI. Despite its competitive edge there is so much of the unknown surrounding generative AI. While businesses are aware of this emerging tool, and would like to be informed about its applications and outcomes, there are concerns around adoption and application risks, and the business case for adoption remains unclear. Business leaders and managers were also concerned with ethical issues and limited applications of generative AI in their businesses.

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The combination of the unknown and the opportunities to create a competitive edge through generative AI can be confusing yet enticing. Businesses need a clear roadmap of how, where, what, and who to integrate generative AI. The legal aspects, risks, and ethical implications of generative AI include data privacy at employee and organisational levels, licensing, and organisational intellectual property.

It is important to ensure that employees understand the technology and move forward with the AI-integrated support system. Dr Gavin Nicholson, Lecturer in Human Resource Management at RMIT Vietnam said that it is an issue not only for business but for broader society, therefore, nobody should be disadvantaged in being able to understand, utilise and benefit from using the technology.

Generative AI skills in the workplace have become global. The World Economic Forum projected 133 million new AI-enabled jobs worldwide by 2022 while 75 million jobs become redundant. AI adoption in organisations has increased remarkably. Researchreported that 77% of the workforce has employed AI in their work in China in some form, while this number is 71% for India.

AI-enabled talents and skills are needed to meet the emerging human resource transformation. So far, generative AI has been implemented in HR such as HR self-service, faster recruitment, more automated on-boarding processes, for increased productivity and better internal engagement.

Upskilling AI-related competencies in organisations is vital to adapt with new technological advantages and implement business strategies in the age of AI. The educated workforce will be compensated by a skill-based approach in organisations. Deloitte’s 2023 Human Capital Trends Report recommends more creative problem-solving, and data evaluation based on generative AI co-pilots.

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The fifth RMIT and Deloitte HR Forum 2024 will continue to strengthen the institution and industry cooperation in bolstering the human capital in Vietnam.

Story by: Dr Tran Nguyet Que and Associate Professor Yin Teng Chew, The Business School, RMIT Vietnam

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